Zappa Meets the Dead – SpreadMusicNow Concert Series

Zappa Meets the Dead – SpreadMusicNow Concert Series

A funky take on Frank Zappa through a ¼-scale replica of the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound – all in support of music education

REDDING, Conn., May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — What do Sugar Magnolia and Peaches en Regalia have in common? They’re iconic songs from two iconic artists – The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa – both of which will be featured in full force on Saturday, May 21 at The Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, CT as part of the SpreadMusicNow Concert Series. All proceeds from this event will support SpreadMusicNow and TeachRock’s work with Connecticut students.

Billed as Zappa Meets the Dead, the concert features Connecticut natives The Z3 – a funky organ trio featuring Tim Palmieri (Lotus, The Breakfast) on Guitar and Vocals, Bill Carbone (Max Creek, Melvin Sparks) on Drums and Vocals, and Beau Sasser (Kung Fu) on Organ, Keys, and Vocals – performing some of Zappa’s all-time classics, with the entire performance piped through a ¼-scale replica of the Grateful Dead’s legendary Wall of Sound.

While the Dead and Zappa never shared a stage, they did share the same desire to challenge the confines of traditional rock. Zappa Meets the Dead is designed to let audience members experience elements of both groundbreaking performers. Showtime is at 8:00 PM and all guests are invited to attend a Meet and Greet with Anthony Coscia at 7:00 PM to experience the power of the Mini Wall of Sound prior to the show.

SpreadMusicNow, a public charity that helps Connecticut’s young people thrive, has created a concert series to benefit local nonprofits that provide music education and support creative youth development. The beneficiaries of this event will be SpreadMusicNow and TeachRock, the latter is an arts integration organization founded by legendary E-Street band guitarist “Little” Steven Van Zandt. TeachRock currently works with teachers in 15 Connecticut districts through a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Education.

According to Van Zandt, “I started to keep the arts in the DNA of the public school system, to reach a generation of kids with the internet in their pockets, and to eventually lower the dropout rate. We don’t tell kids to take out their headphones, we ask them what they’re listening to and then we make connections between their favorite music and the core curricula they need to master to succeed in life. In TeachRock classrooms, kids feel safe, respected, and seen for who they are and who they imagine they might become.”

Why Zappa? “This concert is a coming-together of everything important to me! As executive director of, I work to weave music into school cultures to excite students and engage them in topics they thought they didn’t care about. At the Bijou, I’ll be performing the Zappa music that led teenaged me to intellectual places I never even considered at the time,” said The Z3 drummer and vocalist, Bill Carbone.

The Z3 are and aren’t a Zappa tribute band. They do play the music of Frank Zappa. But they don’t try to recreate it exactly as it happened in the ’60s, 70s, or 80s. They embrace the cynicism, sarcasm, and biting social criticism for which Zappa was famous, but they point it squarely at 2022. It’s Funky Takes on Frank in the present tense.

The Z3 has tackled everything from Freak Out to Broadway the Hard Way with a playful and adventurous spirit that has thus far tickled the fancies of both diehard FZ fans as well as those that “never knew they liked him.”

The Grateful Dead’s 1974 “Wall of Sound” was a 600 speaker, 30+ foot tall pioneering feat in PA system technology and the largest and loudest mobile sound system in the world at that time. Dead bassist Phil Lesh described it as “Apocalyptic. Like the voice of God.” The Wall of Sound toured with the Dead throughout 1974 and was never seen again–until now! Connecticut luthier Anthony Coscia has created a 1/4-scale version of the Wall of Sound, built exactly to the original specifications–right down to the tie-dye tapestries that hang from its rigging. The Z3 will perform through Coscia’s Wall at the Bijou.

VIP ticket holders have boxed seating and are invited to a reception in WPKN’s new studios, located directly above the Bijou Theatre. VIP ticket holders will also receive a free Z3 CD so you can bring their latest hits home.

“We are proud to produce this show with The Z3 and Anthony Coscia. It’s wonderful to partner with Bill Carbone and TeachRock as fellow Connecticut nonprofit leaders supporting creative youth development,” said Richard Wenning, co-founder of SpreadMusicNow. “Come on out for some great music and give back to the next generation of music makers.”

Event Details

WHAT: Zappa Meets the Dead
WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 2022, 8:00 PM (6:30 PM Doors, 7:00 PM Meet & Greet)
WHERE: The Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605

100% of your in-person ticket price will support music education for Connecticut’s students.

Media are invited to attend. Please contact Richard Wenning at [email protected].

About SpreadMusicNow
SpreadMusicNow funds music education and creative youth development that centers equity in outcomes and access for students’ educational, career, and life success. Since 2014, SpreadMusicNow has made grants of over $1,800,000 to music programs in Connecticut and beyond. For more information visit

About TeachRock
TeachRock empowers teachers and engages students by using popular music to create interdisciplinary, culturally responsive education materials for all 21st-century classrooms. Launched by Stevie Van Zandt and the Founders Board of Bono, Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese, and Bruce Springsteen, provides free, standards-aligned resources that use music to help K-12 students succeed across disciplines. For more information visit

SOURCE – SpreadMusicNow

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